This is it. The weekend movie-lovers have circled on the calendar as the movie event of the summer. Christopher Nolan will end his groundbreaking movie trilogy when The Dark Knight Rises opens in theaters everywhere this Friday. Nolan redefined how you make a superhero movie by placing our hero in a realistic setting and creating a model for all other superhero films to follow. The two earlier films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, made Bruce-Wayne-type-money and turned a superhero movie into a crime drama. Think of The French Connection or Heat with superheroes. Everyone knows The Dark Knight Rises will be a huge success but the question is will it break the $207 million opening weekend mark set by its comic rivals The Avengers from earlier this year?
My answer is no. I’m sure I will get killed for making that assumption because if you have read my previous articles you know that I’m Pro-Marvel but hear me out. I think The Dark Knight is the best superhero movie ever and that’s ahead of any of my beloved Marvel movies but TDKR has some factors working against it that will prevent it from over taking The Avengers record. For one thing the film is not in 3D. Nolan isn’t a believer in 3D and I believe Nolan is correct when it concerns this franchise but it will hurt your cause at the box office. We have all made that face at the box office when they ring up our tickets and those extra bucks get added on for 3D. The 3D price hurts our wallets but helps films become bigger hits in the money department.
My second reason is the serious tone of The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan created the perfect dark and gloomy tone that is synonymous with the Batman legend. I love the look and feel of Nolan’s Batman films but it’s not the bright-colored, funny, rollercoaster ride that appeals to youngsters as The Avengers was. My Dad was great about taking me to movies that I was way too young to see. I mean was it inappropriate for him to take me to see Aliens when I was a kid? Yes. Did it help expand my love and respect for movies? Absolutely… but I still think that for the average movie viewer twelve-years-old and up is the appropriate age for youngsters to see TDKR. That will keep more viewers away that may have taken their young ones to see the Hulk smash some alien butt in The Avengers. By the way dear old Dad also snuck me into Predator and Cobra while I was still a preteen as well, so I owe you one Dad.
The last reason that will prevent TDKR from breaking the $200 million mark is the running time. At two hours and forty-five minutes TDKR will be the longest running time of any of the blockbusters releases out this year. An average movie is about two hours running time so if you do the math (bear with me, I was a Communications major at WVU) you will lose two screenings per day at least with a three-hour running time with previews. I couldn’t be happier with the running time because I don’t want this franchise to end but you will lose ticket sales in the long run because of the limited amount of showings. I’m sure TDKR per screen average will be through the roof though.
The Dark Knight Rises will be a colossal hit but it won’t match the Marvel superhero team up from earlier this year when it comes to ticket sales. I predict that The Dark Knight Rises will gross $196 million this weekend.
1. The Dark Knight Rises – $196 million
2. Ice Age: Continental Drift – $20 Million
3. The Amazing Spiderman – $19 million